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Korea's Anti-trust Regulator Embarks on Investigation over Abuse of Mobile OS Dominance
Monopoly in Aggregate?
Korea's Anti-trust Regulator Embarks on Investigation over Abuse of Mobile OS Dominance
  • By Cho Jin-young
  • August 20, 2015, 07:00
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The Korea Fair Trade Commission building at Government Complex #2 at Sejong City, South Korea. (Photo by Minseong Kim via Wikimedia Commons)
The Korea Fair Trade Commission building at Government Complex #2 at Sejong City, South Korea. (Photo by Minseong Kim via Wikimedia Commons)

 

The Korea Fair Trade Commission (FTC) is going to investigate whether or not Google and Apple are abusing their monopolistic positions in the mobile operating system (OS) market. Last Feb., the country’s anti-trust regulator announced that it would closely monitor mobile SNS service and mobile OS providers at home and abroad for the abuse of market dominance.

According to sources on Aug. 19, the FTC recently embarked on a project to analyze the trend of the mobile OS market and to study competition in the market.

The project is aimed at investigating the possible abuse of market dominance, under the circumstances that Google's Android OS and Apple's iOS are dominating the global mobile OS market. Moreover, the Google Play Store and the Apple App Store comprise a large proportion of the local app market. A study on the characteristics and latest trends of mobile OSes, a comparative study about major mobile OSes, and a study on mobile OSes based on antitrust laws are included. The regulatory body intends to respond to any violation of antitrust laws in the future by analyzing the condition of mobile OSes and related markets through its studies. 

Experts are saying that the FTC's investigation in the mobile OS area is attributable to its belief that due to the growing influence of smartphones and tablets on the ICT field, it is possible that Google and Apple's monopolistic positions are damaging the fairness of the mobile OS market.

According to web traffic analysis company StatCounter, Google's Android OS represents 59.63 percent of the global mobile OS market, and Apple's iOS comprises 24.46 percent as of July 2015. The combined share of the two companies in the nation is 99.77 percent, with Android OS at 76.51 percent and Apple iOS at 23.26 percent.

Since Microsoft previously ignited controversy surrounding the domination of its Windows OS for PCs, the regulatory authority seems to have an intention to investigate major mobile platform providers' possible abuse of market dominance.